Real Sociedad eased to a surprisingly comfortable 2-0 win against Atletico Madrid in the last 16 of the Copa del Rey on Wednesday.
Goals in each half from Adnan Januzaj and Alexander Sorloth saw Imanol Alguacil’s team claim victory at Reale Arena.
Elimination from the Copa del Rey for Atletico came less than a week after their semi-final loss to Athletic Bilbao in the Supercopa de Espana in Saudi Arabia.
Diego Simeone tried to shake things up when he introduced the trio of Luis Suarez, Matheus Cunha and Thomas Lemar just 10 minutes into the second half, but it made little difference as the hosts saw out the win.
La Real dominated the opening period of the game and had two early chances with Aritz Elustondo heading wide when free at the far post before Januzaj saw an effort blocked and his follow-up strike the post.
Atletico hit the woodwork themselves with their first real chance after 15 minutes when a ball from Rodrigo de Paul found Yannick Carrasco, but the Belgian was thwarted by the near post.
The hosts had the lead in the 33rd minute when some nice interplay released Joseba Zaldua down the right and his cross found the head of Januzaj, who somehow rose above a sea of Atletico defenders to guide a header in off the left-hand upright.
It was 2-0 within two minutes of the restart after a mistake from Felipe allowed Mikel Oyarzabal to stab the ball through to Sorloth and he finished past Jan Oblak with ease.
Sorloth and Mikel Merino went close to extending the lead further but it proved inconsequential as La Real were rarely troubled at the other end.
What does it mean? Atletico’s eggs all in the Champions League basket
This defeat will only put extra pressure on Atletico’s Champions League last-16 tie with Manchester United as it is the last silverware they can realistically go for this season.
Sitting 16 points behind league leaders Real Madrid, albeit with a game in hand, a title retention seems unlikely to say the least, but they will certainly need to play better against United next month than they did here.
The particularly worrying thing for Simeone will be how routine this felt for La Real. The visitors came to life in the closing stages and eventually managed 10 shots on goal, but home goalkeeper Alex Remiro only had to make one save.
La Real back to home comforts
The San Sebastian side have failed to win four of their past five LaLiga games at Reale Arena, but this match was certainly a return to their usual strong showings on home soil.
Januzaj shone in particular, and not just because of his peroxide blonde hair. The former Manchester United man had four shots in all, scoring once, and making three key passes. No one took as many shots and only Oyarzabal made as many key passes.
Simeone needs to rediscover form on the road
Atletico have won just one of their last eight away games in LaLiga, and that form carried on here.
The lack of bite from anyone involved for the visitors was notable, with no one managing more than two shots or key passes.
It’s back to LaLiga action at the weekend as La Real host Getafe on Sunday while Atletico entertain Valencia on Saturday.
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